Groundhog Day – Classroom Learning made fun!

Groundhog Day

Every February 2, thousands gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to await the spring forecast from a special groundhog. Known as Punxsutawney Phil, this groundhog will emerge from his simulated tree trunk home and look for his shadow, which will help him make his much-anticipated forecast. According to legend, if Phil sees his shadow the United States is in store for six more weeks of winter weather. But, if Phil doesn’t see his shadow, the country should expect warmer temperatures and the arrival of an early spring.

History of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day originates from an ancient celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox—the day right in the middle of astronomical winter. According to superstition, sunny skies that day signify a stormy and cold second half of winter while cloudy skies indicate the arrival of warm weather.

The trail of Phil’s history leads back to Clymer H. Freas, city editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper. Inspired by a group of local groundhog hunters—whom he would dub the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—Freas declared Phil as America’s official forecasting groundhog in 1887. As he continued to embellish the groundhog’s story year after year, other newspapers picked it up, and soon everyone looked to Punxsutawney Phil for the prediction of when spring would return to the country.

Other Groundhogs Around the United States

While Punxsutawney Phil claims to be the nation’s official forecasting groundhog, he’s not the only furry forecaster in the United States. Some other notable contenders include General Beauregard Lee of Atlanta, GeorgiaSir Walter Wally of Raleigh, North Carolina; and Jimmy of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

There are even more groundhog forecasters in the running such as Octorara Orphie of Quarryville, Pennsylvania—competition right next door to Phil—Staten Island Chuck from the Staten Island Zoo, Unadilla who hails from Nebraska, Buckeye Chuck from Ohio, French Creek from West Virginia, and the Cajun Groundhog from Louisiana. Ridge Lea Larry is a “stuffed groundhog” from Western New York, and the Tennessee Groundhog of Silver Point, Tennessee, is actually someone dressed up like a groundhog on a motorcycle.

While Groundhog Day is a way to have a little fun at mid-winter, climate records and statistics tell us that winter probably isn’t over. Climatologically speaking, the three coldest months of the year are December, January, and February, so winter typically still has a bit to go when the groundhog comes out in search of his shadow on February 2.

Fun Units for Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day Unit for 1st-2nd grades (Download Club Subscribers)

This unit contains 21 student worksheets for students. Skills and activities include: Handwriting (Tracing and Copy work) both manuscript and cursive. Vocabulary, Syllable work, Reading comprehension, Critical thinking, Writing starters and themed writing pages, Predictions and Graphing, Parts of a groundhog poster, Word Search, Puppet template

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Groundhog Day Reader (Download Club Subscribers)

Students will love creating their own reader about Groundhog Day! Includes vocabulary in the reader and 3 worksheets that go along with the reader.

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Groundhog Shape Book (Download Club Subscribers)

Includes 3 possible cover pages and writing pages for 3 levels.

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Homeschool Event of the Year!

The Homeschool Event of the Year

The Homeschool Event of the Year!

2016 Great Homeschool Conventions

Great Homeschool Conventions is excited to partner with National Center for Life and Liberty, with a special thanks to our Title Sponsor, WORLD News Group, to host four regional homeschool conventions once again in 2016!

Why would you want to attend a Great Homeschool Conventions event? Each year, we begin to build the coming year’s event with that question in mind. We love our homeschooling families and want to bring the very best to you. We strive to provide top notch homeschool conventions which encourage, inspire, and educate homeschooling families to continue to do what they do best: homeschool!

This coming year’s events promise to be packed with great speakers, a huge exhibit hall, and family-friendly special events.

First, we gather the cream of the crop for speakers and put together the best line up possible. We have 40–50 featured speakers each year! There are over 230 speaking sessions presented at each event. Here are just a few of our amazing speakers in 2016: Ann Voskamp, John Stonestreet, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Dr. Kathy Koch.

Ann Voskamp John Stonestreet Chrystal Evans Hurst Dr. Kathy Koch

Visit our featured speakers page for a complete listing. We also have other presenters providing general sessions covering a wide variety of topics of interest to homeschooling families.

We have several “tracks” which address very specific interests of homeschooling families:

The Homeschool 101 track will be presented by Janice Campbell.

Our Real Faith for the Real World Teen track helps teens learn how to defend their faith in today’s world. John Stonestreet, Mark Mittleburg, Brett Kunkle, and Dr. Jay Wile will provide your teens with a wealth of information on how to address the tough issues they are faced with today.

We also have a Special Needs track and a Parenting track.

At the Homeschool event of the year, you will also have the opportunity to shop ’til you drop in the huge exhibit hall. The exhibit hall is filled with hundreds of booths that often offer special “convention discounts” on homeschool curriculum.

Giant Cow MinistriesGiant Cow Ministries offers an action-packed vacation Bible school type program complete with skits, songs, and a full range of activities. With a separate registration, your children attend this special “children’s conference” for children ages 3–12 at the Southeast, Texas, and Midwest events, and ages 6–12 at the California event.

Each year, we search for special events which offer a learning experience or a fun night out for families to spend time together. This coming year, we are happy to have these events:

  • The Willis Clan will perform at the Southeast, Texas, and Midwest homeschool conventions.
  • Holocaust survivor Dr. Inge Auerbacher will be educating families about the Holocaust and will be sharing her experience as a young child living in a concentration camp for three years. Dr. Auerbacher will be joining us for the Southeast and Midwest events.
  • Comedian Bob Smiley will be performing for those attendees at the Texas homeschool convention.
  • Comedian Dennis Regan will be entertaining at the California homeschool convention.
  • Professional Christian theatrical company Friends of the Groom will perform their version of C.S. Lewis’ popular novel, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at all four GHC events.

We will see you there!

SOUTHEAST Homeschool Convention, TD Convention Center, Greenville, SC, March 10–12, 2016

TEXAS Homeschool Convention, Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX, March 17–19, 2016

MIDWEST Homeschool Convention, Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, OH, March 31–April 2, 2016

CALIFORNIA Homeschool Convention, Ontario Convention Center, Ontario, CA, June 16–18, 2016